NEVER SEND A DEBUTANTE
William Ryder, Earl of Castleton, is at the end of his noble rope. Not only has he broken ties with his longtime mistress, his mother has publicly announced her wish for him to marry a suitable young ladyif only to help him raise the twins left in his care. Hiring a governess should solve some of Will’s problems…but when he meets the candidate in question, he finds himself in an entirely new predicament.
TO DO A WALLFLOWER’S JOB
Miss Margaret Lacey is brainy, beautiful, and, once upon a time, Will’s betrothed. But she bowed out of the engagementand, since then, has never been the same. A tragic accident robbed her of everything, and now, at age twenty-three, her marital prospects are slim to none. Penniless but not without pride, Meg convinces the vexingly handsome Will to hire her for the job. What neither of them could have expected from this arrangement, however, is an attraction that burns stronger than ever. Are these two lost souls finally ready to be schooled in the art of love?
Don’t miss the Wayward Wallflower books by Anna Bennett!
My Brown-Eyed Earl (Book 1)
I Dared the Duke (Book 2)
The Rogue is Back in Town (Book 3)
What Reviewers are saying:
“Sharply drawn characters, clever dialogue…simmering sensuality.”
“A new favorite among romance enthusiasts!” - BookPage on I Dared the Duke
"Will truly win readers' hearts." - RT Book Reviews Top Pick on I Dared the Duke
"Bennett brings new life to traditional Regency stories and characters. " - Kirkus Reviews on I Dared the Duke
About the Author
Anna Bennett started swiping romances from her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager and decided that books with balls, dukes, and gowns were the best. So, when she had the chance to spend a semester in London she packed her bagsand promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.
Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anna found her way back to writing the stories she loves and won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart®. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen. Other weaknesses include reality TV, cute shoes, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. She is the author of My Brown-Eyed Earl.
Read an Excerpt
My Brown-Eyed Earl
By Anna Bennett
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Anna Bennett
All rights reserved.
London, May 1817
Miss Margaret Lacey — Meg, to her family and friends — had the odd but unshakable feeling that the next half hour could alter the course of her life. Forever.
Which was just as well, because heaven knew that she and her sisters couldn't remain on their current paths — not if they wished to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies.
"Trust me, Meg. You're perfect for this position." Her friend Charlotte linked an arm through Meg's and bustled her down the street toward a row of elegant Mayfair townhouses.
"Perfect is a bit of a stretch." Meg had hoped to find work as a companion to an aging dowager, fetching fans and lemonade. Elderly people, she understood. Persons under the age of twelve were another matter entirely. "Shouldn't a governess have a way with children?"
"You've two younger sisters," Charlotte said.
"They're only a few years younger, and the only useful thing I've taught them is how to ignore insults from puffed-up debutantes."
"Nonsense. You're kind, intelligent, and patient. I've no doubt you can manage a pair of six-year old girls." Charlotte stopped and faced Meg. "Show me your best governess expression."
Meg glanced sideways at her friend and gave her an encouraging sort of smile.
"That will never do."
Charlotte sighed. "The look is your primary weapon."
"Weapon? You said they were six."
"Suppose the twins complain about doing their sums. A good governess does not deign to argue with her charges. She simply gives them the look. Now, let's see it."
"Very well." Meg did her best to imitate the withering, mildly disdainful expression that had seemed etched onto her own governess's face.
Charlotte grimaced and bit her bottom lip.
Oh dear. "They're not going to do their sums, are they?"
"Heavens no. They'll think you've eaten a bad kipper." Charlotte took her arm, pulling her along once more. "Never mind — we shall work on that. But I can assure you that you are qualified. Honestly, Meg," she added with a warm smile, "any child would be lucky to have you as a governess."
Meg swallowed. She liked children, truly she did, in spite of their tendency to be terrifyingly unpredictable. "Let us hope I can convince my potential employers."
And convince them she must. Dear Uncle Alistair would never admit it, but Meg and her sisters had been a tremendous burden on him and his dwindling fortune. He'd generously taken them in after the unexpected and tragic deaths of her parents eight years ago. But now she was twenty-three, old enough to venture out on her own — and to try to save Uncle Alistair from debtor's prison.
"Employer, actually," Charlotte corrected. "He is a bachelor, and apparently at a loss for what to do with the twins."
Meg arched an eyebrow. "A bachelor with twins?"
"I don't know the details of his situation, but I'm certain you'll learn more during the interview." Charlotte pulled a scrap of paper from the pocket of her cloak and compared the address on it to the one above a stately town house entrance boasting polished stone steps and a gleaming black door. "This is it. You don't want to be late."
"No, of course not." Meg smoothed her hands down the skirt of her lilac dress, which was three years old and the nicest she owned. "Wait. You haven't told me his name."
"He's an earl." Charlotte consulted her paper. "Lord Castleton."
Oh no. The edges of Meg's vision turned fuzzy, and she stumbled on the pavement.
Charlotte steadied her. "You look as though you've seen a ghost. What's wrong?"
Everything. Lord Castleton was the man her parents had chosen for her to marry.
She'd been a sullen, spot-faced fifteen-year-old when they'd summoned her to the drawing room to meet him. Mama and Papa assumed she'd be thrilled with the arrangement. After all, he was a handsome, strapping young man who would one day be an earl — more than the plain daughter of a vicar could hope for. And it wasn't as though they'd be wed right away. He and Meg could get to know each other over the next few years — easily accomplished, as his family owned the estate next to their humble cottage.
Meg hadn't objected to the match in theory — she wasn't daft. But she had objected to the way he'd looked at her, with the thinly veiled dread and horror of a young man receiving a life sentence in Newgate.
Her pride simply wouldn't tolerate it.
So she had tossed her head, crossed her arms, leveled her gaze at him, and said, "I would sooner shave my head and enter the convent than marry you."
Burning at the memory, Meg pressed her gloved palms to her cheeks and turned to her friend. She'd never revealed that particular chapter of her past to Charlotte. It was tied up with too many painful memories. And did not cast her in a favorable light. "I can't do it."
"But you must! He's expecting you."
"Are you certain? That is, is he aware that I'm the candidate?"
Charlotte shrugged. "I'm sure Lord Torrington informed him. Why are you suddenly so anxious? Do you know the earl?"
Meg swallowed. "I used to — before he inherited the earldom." She'd been careful to avoid him once she and her sisters came to London, which was easy, for they did not move in the same circles. He was the ton's golden boy, while she lived in the shadows. "I fear I made an awful impression."
"You are being far too dramatic," Charlotte said. "He probably doesn't even remember the encounter."
Meg knew the words were meant to comfort and reassure, but the idea that he might have forgotten their meeting — the one that haunted her daily — pained her even more. "I suppose you are correct." He had no doubt moved on. Still, it was horribly awkward to be in the position of needing his approval now.
Charlotte narrowed her pretty gray eyes. "Why do I feel like there is more to this story?"
"I promise to tell you the whole of it. Later." Meg drew a long breath and willed her heartbeat to slow to a civilized pace. "Suffice it to say that if I was nervous before, I'm doubly so now. The earl is not likely to overlook my lack of experience." Not when paired with her past indecorous behavior.
"It's natural to feel some trepidation before an interview," Charlotte said kindly. "Is there more to it than that? Have you changed your mind about wanting the position?"
Meg hesitated only a moment. "No. Of course I still need it. It was just a shock, learning that my prospective employer is the earl." She could not afford — quite literally — to let her pride overrule her good sense. "If he's willing to consider entrusting his children to me, the least I can do is meet with him."
"Please, forget everything I said before. Just be your usual, charming self."
Meg squeezed Charlotte's hands. "Thank you for arranging the interview. I shall endeavor not to embarrass you or Lord Torrington." She winked at her friend. "But no promises."
"Go on. You'll be late." Charlotte gave her a little push toward the grand town house. "Tea this Sunday afternoon?"
"With any luck, you'll be a governess by then."
Meg's belly twisted in knots, but she managed a cheerful smile as she ascended the stone steps on wobbly legs. "Yes, luck. And there's some comfort in knowing the interview can't possibly go as badly as the ghastly scene I've conjured in my mind."
* * *
"The young lady applying for the governess position is waiting for you in the drawing room, my lord."
William Ryder, the Earl of Castleton, peeled his face off the surface of his mahogany desk and growled. "Damn it, Gibson. I asked not to be disturbed."
Unperturbed, the butler set a tray on the corner of the desk. "Yes, I am quite aware, my lord. But you made that request three hours ago. I hoped that your, ah, condition would be much improved by now, and —"
"For the love of God, call it what it is."
The butler's forehead creased. "Begging your pardon?"
"It's not a condition. It's the devil of a hangover."
"So it would seem. In any event, I assumed that you would wish to keep the scheduled appointment. However, if you would like me to send her away —"
"No." Will rubbed eyelids that felt like they'd been singed from the inside out. "I need to deal with the problem."
As if on cue, one half of the problem slid down the hall outside his study, squealing in an octave that set Will's teeth on edge.
"My turn!" called her sister, a matching blond-haired sprite. A second later she, too, glided over the polished floorboards on stockinged feet, colliding with the first twin and sending the pair of them sprawling onto the floor.
"You should have waited," cried the first.
"You should have moved out of the way," retorted the second.
Will pressed his fingertips to a throbbing temple. "Gibson!"
"Allow me, my lord." Turning to the girls, he said, "Diana. Valerie. Young ladies do not skate across the floor in their stockings."
"They should," said one. "It's quite fun."
The butler cleared his throat, and two spots of color appeared on his cheeks. "I suggest that the two of you return to the nursery," he said sharply. "At once."
With another chorus of head-splitting squeals, the twins scrambled to their feet and tore down the hallway.
"I don't believe I've ever seen you so flustered, Gibson." Will smiled. "I daresay I'm feeling a little better."
"All too happy to serve as a source of amusement," the butler said dryly. He plucked a cup from the serving tray on Will's desk, filled it with steaming, pungent coffee, and set it in front of him.
"I suppose I shouldn't add anything to this," Will said, taking a few scalding sips.
"It would rather defeat the purpose."
"Fine. Let's get this interview over with. Bring the governess here."
Gibson's gaze flicked around the room as though he were mentally cataloging all the reasons why a respectable young miss should not enter the decidedly male realm: the snifter of brandy and half-filled glass on the sideboard, the painting of a nude Aphrodite above the mantle, the discarded cravat draped over the arm of his chair. "If you're certain, my lord."
"I am." This was killing poor Gibson.
"Shall I ring for Phelps?"
Will leaned back in his chair and spread his arms. "Why would I need my valet?"
"Forgive me for mentioning it, my lord, but you look somewhat disheveled. I thought perhaps Phelps could tidy you up."
"Blast it, Gibson. I don't require tidying. I'm looking for a governess, not a mistress." But then, maybe his butler was trying to tell him something. "Wait. Is she ...?"
"Is she what, my lord?"
Will wanted to say comely or beautiful. "Young?"
"She is. And not at all your usual sort of companion."
"Then why all the fuss, damn it? Show her in here."
The butler's nostrils flared in his otherwise stony face. "As you wish, my lord." He turned stiffly and headed toward the drawing room at a glacial pace.
Hell. Will leaned forward on his elbows and pinched the bridge of his nose. Somehow, in the space of a week, his highly ordered, luxurious life had fallen apart.
First, Marina, the beautiful widow he'd been seeing, hinted that she wanted more than the mutually pleasurable arrangement they'd agreed to, forcing Will to break things off with her.
Next, his recently deceased cousin's mistress showed up on Will's doorstep with the twin girls, threatening to leave them at an orphanage unless he took them in.
And then last night, he attended a dinner party in honor of his mother's birthday. In front of a dozen guests, she announced her sole wish: that her son marry before she turned fifty — in exactly one year. After choking on his wine, Will promised to give the matter some thought.
Then he had gone directly to his club and drunk himself into oblivion.
Jesus. He stood, ran his hands through his hair, and checked his reflection in a mirror between a pair of bookcases. Gibson was right — he looked like hell.
Bad enough to scare off a potential governess.
He swiped the cravat off his chair, slung it around his neck, hastily tied it in some semblance of a knot, and buttoned his jacket. There was nothing to be done about the stubble on his chin or the faint imprint the desk blotter had left on his cheek, so he threw back the rest of his coffee and congratulated himself. Within the hour he'd have a governess to manage the twins, and at least one aspect of his life would be set to rights.
Gibson was already shuffling down the corridor. "My lord," he intoned from the doorway, "may I present Miss Lacey."
Will blinked. Lacey ... it was a common name. Surely the potential governess couldn't be —
She glided into the study and cast a wary look his way. "Good afternoon, Lord Castleton. It's a pleasure to see you again."
Dear God. It was her. The vicar's daughter who thought she was too damned good for him. Standing in his study, cloaked in a drab dress that might have been lilac once but now more closely resembled gray. No ribbons adorned her brown hair. No ringlets framed her face. In fact, the only decoration she wore was the light smattering of freckles across her nose.
The butler raised his bushy brows. "I was not aware that you were already acquainted."
"Thank you, Gibson. That will be all."
The butler left reluctantly, closing the door behind him.
Miss Lacey pressed her lips together as though she longed to say something and silence herself at the same time. From what he recalled of her tongue, it was best kept under lock and key.
"What on earth are you doing here?" Will demanded.
"Applying for the governess position. I assumed you knew."
"No," he said curtly.
"I see." She glanced over her shoulder at the door. "Perhaps it would be better if I —"
"Be seated, Miss Lacey." He inclined his head toward the armchair in front of his desk.
She hesitated, and for a moment he thought she'd refuse. But then she walked toward the chair, looked at the seat, and froze. Just as stubborn as he remembered, unbiddable as ever.
He bristled. "Perhaps you'd prefer to remain standing for the entire interview?"
"No. It's only ..."
"You object to meeting in my study?"
She narrowed eyes that were not quite green, but not quite brown either. "No, but I hoped to avoid sitting on this." In one, fluid motion she leaned over the chair, picked up a pink, lace-edged scrap of satin between her thumb and index finger, and dangled it in front of his face.CHAPTER 2
Lord Castleton snatched the frilly handkerchief from Meg's hand. He started to stuff it in his pocket, apparently thought better of it, and shoved it into a desk drawer. "Let me assure you, Miss Lacey. Nothing untoward has occurred here in my study."
Perhaps not. But something untoward had definitely occurred somewhere.
Meg sat in the chair in front of his desk, glad she no longer had to rely on her shaking legs for support. "I'm certain that's none of my concern."
"I'm glad we agree."
She was curious, though. If her parents had had their way, the man who was now sitting across from her and cursing under his breath would have been her husband. Difficult as it was to fathom, she would have been his countess, probably blessed with a couple of children at this point.
The sight of him now, sporting rumpled clothes, a scowling face, and a foul mood, made her think she had dodged a rather nasty bullet.
The earl steepled his fingers under his chin, dark with stubble. "Now then, why don't you begin by telling me why you've been reduced to applying for a governess position?"
Dear Lord, this was humiliating — not needing to work, but having to explain herself. To him. She didn't want to reveal just how desperate she was. Or confess that suitors weren't exactly lining up outside her front door.
"My two sisters and I live with my uncle, Lord Wiltmore." Meg studied the earl's face, waiting for the moment he realized she was one of the infamous Wilting Wallflowers.
The ton had cruelly dubbed Meg, Beth, and Julie thus after their first season had proved highly unsuccessful. The cause of their disgrace was a reputation-shattering combination of unfashionable gowns and their uncle's eccentric behavior. Revealing her connection to Uncle Alistair inevitably prompted one of two responses: derision or pity. The former was far easier to accept than the latter.
Excerpted from My Brown-Eyed Earl by Anna Bennett. Copyright © 2016 Anna Bennett. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My least favorite out of the trilogy. Glad I read out of order or I may not have read it if I started out with this book. The twins were a great addition to the book and the mystery of a an unknown man asking about them added an extra level to the book. My problem is the relationship between Meg and Will. They don't seem to form a connection other than sexual. In the beginning of the book they banter back and forth but that's about the end of any real communication between the two. It was a hard to believe love story because there was no foundation of a relationship.
I really enjoyed this book but will not continue this series at $7.99 for an e-book. I can buy the paperback cheaper, what's up with that?
Enjoyed the book. Telegraphed a bit much, and there was an abrupt change in her position right at the end with no solid premise. Still a good read.
I can't remember having such a distaste for a character in a romance novel before . Meg was so miserable and contentious , and snapping at perceived insults where none were intended. Why Will fell in love with her is nothing short of a miracle . I fully expect if Mother Teresa had met Meg she would have slapped her. Even though it all worked out in the end, there's just no excuse for thinking such boorish behavior is a good plot line for romance .
I really enjoyed Meg and Will's story. I always love a good reunion story and this one was a pleasure to read. The twins and their antics were an added bonus! I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series to see how Meg's sisters get their HEA!
I was so happy to see she was going to start a new series with a new pen name. The story was well written and had a good cast of characters. Meg and her sisters are living with their uncle and need money. Meg is off to get a governess job and doesn't realize it is with the man she refused to marry. There is a bit of mystery and danger but it all works out in he end?
Good book for the first..I personally wanted a little more depth and passion. I liked the witty banter. Overall a good read bit I like my books to have more heat and details. There were sex scenes but I personally felt them lacking. I look forward to the next book and hopefully the author adds more chemistry and passion between the characters. Also ended, needed an epilogue.
This is Anna Bennett’s first book and it won’t be the last one of hers that I read. I enjoyed this story very much. You’ll like the hero and heroine, but you’ll lose your heart to the two little girls. Margaret Lacey was at one time engaged to Will Ryder, Earl of Castleton, but called it off for reasons I won’t spoil. After her parents’ tragic death, she and her sisters are penniless and living with their elderly uncle. She must find work and a friend has told her about a governess position, but did not tell her who needed a governess. Will needs a governess for the twins he’s suddenly inherited from his deceased cousin but is not aware of who the applicant is. He just wants someone to deal with the girls as his mother announced her sole wish he marries in the next year, before she’s 50. Living in the same house brings Meg and Will closer, to his mother’s dismay. I don’t like plot spoilers so you should read this as there are some funny and dangerous occurrences. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.
Miss Margaret Lacey is determined to save her sisters and uncle from debtor's prison. She knows that she needs employment so she plans to become a governess. How hard could it be? If your new employer is Lord Castleton, the situation is impossible. Meg turned down his marriage proposal eight years ago and his pride still smarts. Now he needs her to take care of twin tornados. The girls are his wards and he doesn't know anything about children. Will is a good man in a difficult situation. I liked him for his honor and his wicked sense of humor. Meg is a feisty, stubborn and opinionated. She won't back down. There is chemistry between these two that pulled me in. Their interaction is romantic and humorous. They are perfect for each other. i wanted a HEA, but I was worried about the mysterious stranger who's stalking the girls. I couldn't stop reading My Brown-Eyed Earl. London and its history provide the perfect setting for this romantic adventure. Anna Bennett's characters are likeable and her plot has unexpected twists that took me by surprise. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series (A Wayward Wallflowers Novel). I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
A brilliant start to a new series! This is not only a love story between two hard headed people but between children and adults who are not related by birth. It is refreshing in it's manner of presentation of different types of family's and that the ones not accepted by society can be impactful, meaningful and loving. The Earl of Castleton won my heart from the start of the book. He is a heart throb who heats up the pages with his self involved "I want what I want attitude". The plot slowly shows the real Will as you read further into the book. The author does a smooth transition in this process causing the reader to become deeply in love with who he really is. I do admire a heroine who may be a wallflower but will always find a way to help her family and others while still standing up for herself. Miss Lacey's attitude is refreshing and to the point throughout the book. She intrigued me as to how she would deal with Will and her feelings. What was interesting about this book is that the reader is involved in not just her story with Will but how she fights to help the twins and teach them how to behave in the world. Her fighting spirit is brilliantly shown in the area of her presence in society that will bring to mind times that the reader may have felt like she did and thus want to cheer her on for being strong. I give this book 5 STARS for showing deep relationships involving love outside the bounds of what society thinks in proper or normal. Voluntary review of Advance Reader Copy via Netgalley
My Brown-Eyed Earl is my first book by Anna Bennett but won't be my last. Ms Bennett impressed me with her storytelling abilities and her smooth writing style. Meg and Will's story is packed with drama, humor, action and sizzle. My favorite thing about this book though is Ms Bennett's amazing, well-developed characters. The interaction and dialog were fantastic. I enjoyed reading My Brown-Eyed Earl and look forward to my next book by Anna Bennett. My Brown-Eyed Earl is book 1 of the Wayward Wallflowers Series and can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.
Very good debut novel! Lately I have read a lot of historical romance books, and when I started to read My Brown-Eyed Earl, I was so excited, the first 80 pages were incredible, witty banter, great dialogue, amazing characters, but after the 80 pages, I do not know what happened, somewhere on the way I lost a little bit of my excitement, I think that mystery part wasn't necessary, but regardless of that, this is a very good story, author's writing style is great! Looking forward to read I Dared the Duke :) *Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
This was a good read for me. I liked the story as well as the characters. It was a simple, sweet romance that had its funny moments. The characters were interesting and the story was entertaining. I liked it.
'My Brown-Eyed Earl' by Anna Bennett is the first book in "The Wayward Wallflowers" series. This is the story of William Ryder, Earl of Castleton and Miss Margaret Lacey 'Meg'. Meg is on of the three sister that are called 'Wayward Wallflowers'. They lost their parents when they were younger and now have been staying with an caring Uncle but he is eccentric. Meg thought to help their family out by find a job. Her friend set her up for an interview that lead her to Will. Will lost someone that was like a brother to him and then on top of that two little girls were dropped off on him that used to be his friend that he lost. Now his mom has went on a about marring and settling down. Next when he goes to hire a governess he finds Meg at the door asking for the job. Meg name was one that in a earlier time was to be his fiance but she turned it down. This was such a enjoyment to read! I can't think this is the first book by this author. I will surly be looking for more from Ms. Bennett along with more from this series!. I received an eARC, from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
London - 1817 Miss Margaret (Meg) Lacey, age 23, is hoping to find a position as a companion, but her friend is insisting she apply for a governess position to twin 6-year-old girls, Diana and Valerie. Meg and her two younger sisters have been cared for by their Uncle Alistair after the deaths of their parents 8 years ago. However, she realizes that her uncle’s finances are in bad shape and she needs to find a way to earn money. The man Meg is applying to for the position is none other than William Ryder, the Earl of Castleton. Lord Castleton is the man her parents had wanted her to marry. At the time, she was only 15 and was not interested in marriage at all and ended up insulting him. Fighting a hangover, William is ready to interview the prospective governess. Why is he hungover? His mother has just requested that he marry within a year. William offers Meg the position with good pay. Although she doesn’t really feel qualified to teach the girls, she work hard to make sure she is doing a good job. The girls’ mother was the mistress to his recently deceased friend. She dumped them on William because she does not want to keep them. If he didn’t take them, she would have put them in an orphanage. Meg enjoys working with the girls even though they can be rather trying at times. The girls develop a fondness for her too. As Meg and William spend more time together, a spark ignites that turns into heated desire. This is a good book with a great plot and I enjoyed it immensely. There is a bit of suspense added to the story that will keep the reader guessing and drawing them deeper into the story. Do grab a copy of the book. I think you will truly enjoy it. Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
William Ryder, Earl of Castleton and Margaret “Meg” Lacey tap dance around one another after she takes up her position as governess of twin girls he has become guardian of. They knew one another slightly in their youth and had a few encounters in the past that both would like to forget. Meg and Will are drawn to one another and become devoted to the twins as they spend time with them and together. There is a bad guy to deal with, an ex-mistress, a mad uncle, a young woman who wants Will, Will’s interfering mother, an almost kidnapping and a lot going on through the story. Meg’s sisters will no doubt star in the next two books of this series as the three sisters are known in society as the Wayward Wallflowers. If you can discard the idea of a young woman who has made her debut in society being able to become a governess for a titled bachelor without scandal ensuing then have a rather torrid relationship with him under his roof without worrying about pregnancy or her reputation and believe that two people could fall madly in love in a matter of weeks then this might be a book you will enjoy. The writing is well done and the story kept me interested throughout. I would like to know more about Meg’s friend Charlotte and wonder if she will have her story told at some point in the future. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.